• Morgan Fagg

Having fun at the expense of 'The Nun'

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Set in Romania in 1952, The Nun is the latest ghost story taken from the Warrens’ case files. The Warrens were a married couple who travelled the world and witnessed some very strange paranormal occurrences.

This movie has been built up through-out previous films with some very clever promotion and references to both The Nun and a convent in Romania.

I predicted there would be a film about The Nun and liked the way James Wan had linked it into other films as a teaser. All nicely linked, James Wan is credited as a writer and producer on this film but not the director and while it is good it is far from great.

Firstly, there is Frenchie, a French Canadian character that finds a nun hung at the steps of a remote convent where he brings occasional supplies which he leaves at the icehouse (storehouse ) which is clearly marked in English, “Deliveries”. Deliver us from every movie sin but the bilingual convent is not the only place in Romania that explains everything in English. Frenchie later has a drink at the Black Bear bar where he robs or borrows a shotgun from the bar to save the priest and young novice nun he had earlier shown to the Delivery door.

Back at Castle Dracula, sorry I mean the remote bilingual convent, Abbey Saint Carta.

I googled Abadia de Santa Carta and guess what part of Romania it is in? The East, The West, Central Romania or COUNTy Dracula? Yes, a quick internet search finds us back in Transylvania.

Okay, Let me interrupt the story here and return to Dracula, I remember a Romanian girl in Madrid who hated Dracula and Bram Stoker for the bastardisation of Vlad Dracula but that book was written in London in 1897 and not 2018. Would one word in Romanian have killed them? Not that it has to be in Romanian but maybe Latin, Italian or French something. Back in the Black Bear bar and both the barman and barmaid speak perfect English to the French Canadian too.

I know firsthand that English is an important language for nuns today but I’m sure it wasn’t always the lingua franca of religious orders.

Later in the film, there is a door with, "Finit hic, Deo" which we are told means, “God ends here”, in Latin. Why didn’t they have that sign in English too? They could have written, “Devil’s Door”, “The Basement”, “Groundfloor”, “Sauna” “Hell”, “The Boiler”. Okay, I am having fun at the expense of The Nun but the previous films seemed so respectful of their source material whereas this jump scare movie seemed a piecemeal attempt at placing different parts of the Warrens’ many adventures into something completely made up and it was the authenticity of the previous films that I really enjoyed.

We know about The Amytiville Horror for example even though we can not tell if it is true but this film seems completely fabricated even though I have read that their son-in-law has linked some the Warrens’ case files to different events such as a convent in England.

Excusing my French but I bet there was a f#@king “Delivery” Door in the English convent.

The novice nun who is called Sister Irene is a novitiate and hasn’t yet taken her vows,

I loved the casting of Taissa Farmiga who plays the character Sister Irene and guessed rightly that she must be a relative of the woman who has played Lorraine Warren in the other films. Things fall apart quickly here as Sister Irene is not called Lorraine even though I always thought Lorraine Warren was a novice nun and in fact Ed and Lorraine Warren, the famous demonologists were apparently already married and had established the New England Society of Psychic Research by 1952.

When I said Sister Irene looks like Lorraine Warren from the other films that might be because Lorraine was played by her older sister Vera Farmiga. What I thought was great casting might just be lazy nepotism casting as I can't understand how the two sisters are playing different characters. Who will play a young Lorraine Warren when she meets her actual sister Sister Irene?

At the beginning of the film, Frenchie discovers the body of The Nun at the steps of convent Dracula and the body is being pecked to bits by crows, the neck snaps and her body falls and all the crows fly towards Frenchie and the credit, The Nun appears.

We change scene to a school in England after a quick visit to the Vatican where a young novice, Sister Irene is talking about science to a class of young children maybe ten-year-olds. The novitiate has some dinosaur toys and a model of a volcano and the students are questioning if dinosaurs were real because Mother Superior says they aren’t. The young novice continues talking about dinosaurs which has nothing to do with the film but also has nothing to do with 1950s Catholic education. In fact, the very definition of a nun is: A member of a religious community of women, typically one living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

A few decades before I was born, I can’t imagine the balls on this nun to teach evolution and science against the Mother Superior’s wishes and why are all these kids laughing and smiling. That’s not how I thought nun’s taught in the 1950s.

Not only is this disobedient novice teaching about dinosaurs, but she also is not wearing a habit or uniform and is a pretty sharp dresser.

I have taught some English classes to nuns in the past and I really enjoyed it. I had two wonderful students but that was in 2015 and not the 1950s. Time and technology have changed much since then and the young postulant meets a priest who explains their mission impossible.

The next scene begins in Frenchie’s bed where he is having a nightmare about the dead nun when he sees the gruesome image of large quantities of blood falling on the ground like a scene from The Shining. Do haunted convents have elevators of blood? Let’s find out.

There is a loud knock on the door and both the priest and young novice is at the door in their civilian clothing and I have to admit that the young nun is a bit of a fashionista the way she goes through outfits and if Rome doesn’t want her, I’m sure Milan certainly does.

Frenchie awakes from his nightmare and goes straight from hell to horny in about sex seconds, sorry six seconds, my mind was in the bloody gutter there. Frenchie looks at the strangers at the door and asks inappropriately, “Jealous husband or angry father?” I think I would be an angry father if I was the priest who strangely happens to be wearing a hat and tie disguise instead of his own vestments.

Frenchie continues, “Usually it is one of the two when an older man and a young beautiful and not so innocent girl show up at my door” and horny as hell, he then says, “I’ve never seen a nun out of her vestments, not that I’m opposed to it” when told that she is a nun.

He did not recognise the girl, yet presumed her husband or angry father wanted to see him.

It’s 1952 and he is in a Romanian village. How much action is this guy getting or taking?

The film seems more like The Mummy than The Nun so let’s forget all concepts of the 1950s and village life and join Frenchie as he explains that they have taken a "plane from Rome and bus from Bucharest but now you are in the dark ages” and they head to the haunted remote castle.

The blood is still fresh on the ground where the nun was hung. (Grammatically I should write hanged but hung rhymes with nun and I want to have some fun with The Nun and puns). The priest touches the blood and it is still fresh. I wonder if Vatican C.S.I. would have picked up on that?

Frenchie shows them to the “Deliveries” Door and where he lay the body and he says that the body has moved and I wonder what position he left the body in judging by the way he has been hitting on the young novice during their horseride to convent Dracula.

Inside the convent, there is a woman shrouded in black who is the abbess of the abbey and she explains that they can't talk to the order of nuns as they can’t speak from sunset to sun rise.

There is no doubt that the prioress in the black veil is a most helpful ghost ever who explains that, “there is lodging in the convent, you may stay there.”

No one shows them where to go and suddenly, they are eating a meal together listening to some spooky music on the radio. I remind you that it is not a dancehall but a remote Romanian castle being used as a convent in1952 and they cant talk to the order of nuns because of their vows of silence. Strange to find a solar powered radio during the great silence of nun's vespers and again I' sure pretty disobedient to play music in my opinion in a cloistered community like that.

Why didn’t she just ask for the wifi code when they had the Reverend Mother's attention and a few lava lamps and disco balls would really have livened up their nunnery quarters. I wonder if they microwaved their dinner? They also seem to be sleeping in double beds which I can’t imagine is the norm in 1950s European hotels never mind a remote convent.

Who the hell delivered double beds to the convent? www.Matrices-direct.com? Is that why they needed the door sign “Deliveries” written in English?

There are some nice predictable jump scares in the film and in one scene the novice is looking at a giant mirror in a church and I am wondering why nuns would need such a big mirror considering pride is one of the seven deadly sins.

Within the convent the young novice takes her vows and becomes a nun which I think involves marriage to god where they become a bride of Christ.

I won't go too much into the film and I’m sure it is a quote from Dracula, “I will go this far but no further” but I will say that the fresh blood on the doorstep is not the only miracle blood in this story as the convent happens to have some Jesus blood on tap, well a relic of the blood of Jesus anyways. Jesus relics are all over the religious world and it is rumoured that there is enough wood from the cross preserved in churches today to build an actual ark. Jesus’ blood is contained in a container in the film but who found his blood? Was he an organ or blood donor? Who had the foresight to preserve Jesus of Nazareth’s blood? The doctor who performed Einstein’s autopsy was crucified for preserving Einstein's brain against the family’s wishes so who started selling Jesus’ blood, two millenniums ago?

If they have Jesus’ blood, why doesn’t the dinosaur believing science nun not do a Jurassic Park on it with the blood of Christ? Bloody hell, are there dinosaurs for Jesus to fight in the next film?

I’m not impressed with this film at all and I would love to watch this with the nuns who were my former students for English class and get their opinion on the film. Watching this film with nuns in a convent school, now that would be scary. One boy with a fantastic level of English who hated my puns, used to call me The PUNisher which I thought was an excellent nickname and do you know how many religious jokes about nuns I made when I had two brides of Christ as students? NUN

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